CORONER'S INQUISITION, 1931-1936
NEWBERRY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Transcribed and contributed by Edith Greisser

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at the home of Holland Boozer, below Prosperity in the County and State aforesaid, the 21st day of October A. D., one thousand nine hundred and thirty five before I. H. Wilson Coroner, upon view of the body of JAMES EDWARD LEVER of Prosperity SC then and there being dead by the oaths of C. E. Lester, N. R. Lester, A. S. Hawkins, M. S. Hawkins, J. P. Hawkins, S. P. Hawkins being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said JAMES EDWARD LEVER came to his death, upon their oaths do say that the said JAMES EDWARD LEVER came to his death by an unavoidable accident due to the carelessness of the said JAMES EDWARD LEVER on October 20th 1935 and died on October 21st 1935. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid JAMES EDWARD LEVER came to his death in the manner and means aforesaid

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, I. H. Wilson Coroner, aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.                                                                 /s/   I. H. Wilson Coroner, (L.S.)

/s/   Sam Pat Hawkins (L.S.)                      /s/   A. S. Hawkins (L.S.)                      /s/   C. E. Lester, foreman (L.S.)

/s/   N. R. Lester (L.S.)                              /s/   N. S. Hawkins (L.S.)                        /s/   J. P. Hawkins (L.S.)

Inquisition held over the dead body of JAMES EDWARD LEVER colored of Prosperity SC, October 21, 1935

Examination by I. H. WILSON Coroner for Newberry County

MRS. MATTIE BOOZER being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Mrs. Boozer, your husband is Mr. Holland Boozer who killed this little boy?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Just tell how it happened.

A.    We were going up the road. We had met two cars. We were meeting another car and just as we got there one of these little boys ran out in front of our car and we did not have time to stop.

Q.    The car that the Negroes were driving was coming this way?

A.    It was coming.

Q.    You were meeting the car?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    And the little boy stepped out from behind the car?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    He ran out from behind the other car just about what distance in front of your car? Just 3 or 4 steps? Or how far?

A.    I could not tell you – it was done all so quickly. He just ran out in front of us.

MISS ETHEL BOOZER being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q.    Miss Boozer, you were in the car with Mr. Boozer?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Just tell how it happened.

A.    Two cars were coming along and met Holland out there. There were three little darkies out there and one of them ran right out in front of Holland’s car.

Q.    How far was the little boy from the car when he ran out in front of Mr. Boozer’s car?

A.    It was not far when he ran right in front of it.

Q.    Mr. Boozer stopped as quickly as he could?

A.    Yes sir.

MR. MAXEY HAWKINS being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR.WILSON:

Q.    Mr. Hawkins, where were you at yesterday when this accident occurred?

A.    Coming down the road behind that car.

Q.    About how far were you behind it?

A.    I do not know exactly?

Q.    Was it 100 yards?

A.    I do not know.

Q.    You could see the car?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    He was meeting a car?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you see the darky when he ran out in front of Mr. Boozer’s car?

A.    When I saw the chap he was under the car.

Q.    Mr. Boozer was not driving fast?

A.    No sir. It looked like he stopped about the time that it happened.

Q.    How long was it before you got there.

A.    Just a few minutes. About the time Mr. Boozer got out of the car, I was there.

Q.    What position was the boy in?

A.    He was laying right under the car with his feet up under the front wheel.

Q.    Did the car run over him?

A.    It looked like the bumper threw him under the car.

ROBERT MOORE being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR.WILSON:

Q.    Mr. Moore, do you know anything about this accident?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Just go ahead and tell what you know.

A.    Mr. Hawkins and I were coming down the road and I saw the car stop and I asked him if it didn’t look like someone had been run over. We came on down there and he was laying under the car with his feet towards the front of the car and his head towards the back.

Q.    What was Mr. Boozer doing?

A.    When we got there he was getting out of the car.

Q.    Did he offer any assistance to the little boy?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    When the cars were meeting they gave each other plenty road?

A.    Yes sir.

JURY:

Q.    Were there any more children around there?

A.    There were some up on the bank on the side of the road.

MR. WILSON:

Q.    Did you see those other boys in the road?

A.    They were over on the bank when I saw them.

ROGERS SINGLEY being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q.    Where were you when this accident happened?

A.    Back up the road at the forks.

Q.    Were you on the highway?

A.    We had not got out of the road yet. We were not on the highway.

Q.    What was this little boy doing on the road?

A.    He was running behind that other car and he turned it aloose.

Q.    Did he have a hold of the car?

A.    I mean he was running behind the car.

Q.    And then ran out in front of this other car?

A.    Yes sir.

LEVY BOOKMAN being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Where were you when this accident happened?

A.    I was passing along the road in an automobile.

Q.    How fast were you traveling?

A.    About 8 or 10 miles an hour.

Q.    You were in the automobile?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Were you driving the automobile?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you see Mr. Boozer before you got to him?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Tell that Jury what you know about it.

A.    Just as I passed the boys were standing at the forks and just as I met Mr. Boozer I heard him strike something. They were not in the road when I passed.

Q.    You did not know anything was behind you?

A.    No sir.

WILL BOOKMAN being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Were you in the car with this fellow who just testified?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you know that these boys were behind your car?

A.    No sir.

Q.    How many of you were in the car?

A.    Just the two of us.

Q.    You and your brother?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    How fast were you going?

A.    I would imagine we were traveling 15 or 10 miles an hour.

Q.    You did not know these little boys were behind you?

A.    No sir. They were at the forks when we passed, standing on the bank.

Q.    Where did it happen?

A.    Right above the forks.

Q.    Which way were you going?

A.    Down toward the river.

Q.    Mr. Boozer did everything he could for this little boy?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    He rendered all the aid he could?

A.    Yes sir.

MR. HOLLAND BOOZER made the following statement:

Q.    Just go ahead and make any statement you wish to make.

A.    I had just met a car right here. It was awful dusty. There was a crowd of boys ran out there. The rest of them turned and went back and he could not get back. He just came out and ran right into me.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

October 21st, 1935

This is to certify that I have examined the body of James Edward Lever and find the cause of death was due to a concussion of his brain, caused from a severe blow on his face and forehead and also found both thigh bones and left forearm broken from a severe blow.                                                                        George T. Hunter, MD

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Whitmire, SC in the County and State aforesaid, the 28th day of October A. D., one thousand nine hundred and thirty five before I. H. Wilson Coroner, upon view of the body of GEORGE FANT of Whitmire SC then and there being dead by the oaths of S. C. Young, P. B. Dean, R. L. Hardin, W. W. Gilliam, J. L. Miller, A. H. Walker being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said GEORGE FANT came to his death, upon their oaths do say that the said GEORGE FANT came to his death by an unavoidable accident which happened October 21st 1935 and died October 22, 1935. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid GEORGE FANT came to his death in the manner and means aforesaid

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, I. H. Wilson Coroner, aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.                                                                 /s/   I. H. Wilson Coroner, (L.S.)

/s/   A. W. Walker (L.S.)                             /s/   W. W. Gilliam (L.S.)                     /s/   J. L. Miller, foreman (L.S.)

/s/   P. B. Dean (L.S.)                                 /s/   R. L. Hardin (L.S.)                           /s/   S. C. Young (L.S.)

Inquisition held over the dead body of GEORGE FANT colored of Whitmire SC on October 28, 1935

MR. T. D. KINARD  being duly sworn testified as follows:

Examination by Coroner, I. H. WILSON:

Q.    Mr. Kinard, you are a policeman in Whitmire?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Were you called out to this wreck?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What day was that?

A.    I do not remember what day it was.

Q.    Was it today a week ago – October 21, 1935?

A.    Yes sir, that is right.

Q.    Just tell the jury what you found and how you found everything and what you did.

A.    When I got the word I went on up there. The horse and wagon were lying on the left hand side coming this way and the automobile was sitting on the right side. You could see where the automobile struck the wagon on the right hand side. The first thing I did was to arrest the boy. He was sitting in the car trying to start the car. I got him out of his car and put him in my car. Mr. Dean asked me to shoot the horse as it was hurt so bad it could not live. I shot the horse and brought the boy to town. (The boy referred to is ______ Tolbert)

Q.    What time of day was that?

A.    I do not know what time it was.

Q.    Was it in the evening, in the morning or about dinner time?

A.    It was in the morning but I do not know what time of day it was.

Q.    Where did this occur at? Where did this happen?

A.    It happened up the highway there.

Q.    Where did it happen?

A.    Right about Mr. Wallace Gilliam’s. Right in front of Mr. White’s house.

Q.    How far is that from here?

A.    400 or 500 yards up the highway.

Q.    Happened in Newberry County

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What is the name of the highway it happened on?

A.    Calhoun Highway.

Q.    Did it happen in the town of Whitmire?

A.    Yes sir.

JURY:

Q.    It was in the town of Whitmire?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    In the town limits?

A.    Yes sir.

MR. E. S. O’DELL being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR.WILSON:

Q.    Mr. O’Dell, you live here in Whitmire?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What do you do?

A.    I don’t do anything.

Q.    Just tell the Jury what you saw and how it happened.

A.    About all I can tell you is that when I came out on the porch this car passed and ran right into the back end of the wagon. The wagon and car were headed in the same direction. Both on the right hand side of the road. I ran from my house to where it was. When I got there the darkie was trying to get up. This boy (Tolbert) got out of his car and was trying to stop his horn from blowing. The horn was crushed back against the fender and he could not stop it from blowing. He finally got it stopped by breaking the wires. That is about all I could tell you.

Q.    Did the boy offer to help the Negro who got hurt?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Do you live near where this accident happened?

A.    I imagine it is 150 yards maybe.

Q.    Could you see from where you were to the place where the accident happened?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Was there ay obstruction?

A.    No sir.

Q.    This happened in Newberry County?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    In the town of Whitmire?

A.    Yes sir.

EVANS JETER colored being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Where do you live?

A.    Whitmire.

Q.    What do you do?

A.    I drive an ice wagon.

Q.    Were you driving the ice wagon that wrecked with this car?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What time of day did it happen?

A.    I do not know. It was in the morning.

Q.    Up in the morning a piece?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Tell the jury how it happened.

A.    I could not tell you. All I know I did not hear anything. I did not hear anything. I did not see it happen. I know he hit me.

Q.    George Fant was working on the wagon with you?

A.    No sir.

Q.    What was he doing on there?

A.    He was going my way and I stopped and asked him to get on and ride.

Q.    Do the people you are working for allow you to pick up walkers?

A.    No sir. But I just picked him up.

Q.    Were you and Fant any kin?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Where did you pick George Fant up?

A.    Near Mr. George Hardin’s house.

Q.    He was not on the wagon with you but a few minutes?

A.    That is right.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

October 28, 1935

This is to certify that I attended the deceased George Fant colored of Whitmire SC on the date of his injury, Monday, at about 10 am October 21st 1935 at my office. I found he had a deep laceration on the inner side of the right leg about 6 inches above the ankle; a large swollen place on the inner side of the ankle due to an injured blood vessel; a small bone fracture about 6 inches above the ankle. A suitable splint was applied and an x-ray of the leg verified the above injury. Circulation was impaired and gangrene of the foot set in due to the blood supply being cut off on each side. Amputation of the leg was advised but his physical condition would not permit the risk of an operation. Death ensued due to the toxemia from the absorption of the dead tissue of the foot. The general condition of the man was poor in the beginning of the injury. Shock was unusual for so simple an injury and his resistance as a whole was lessened by his peculiar condition.

Death was due to toxemia from gangrene of the foot brought on by an injury to the leg, made worse by his ability to walk on the injured member several hundred feet (Not knowing he had a broken bone) before seeing a doctor. This toxemia on top of the previous injury was sufficient to damage the circulation around the broken bone to bring on the bad circulation on this side of the leg. (Fractured bone side) while the laceration of the inner side of the leg hastened the death.                                                                                                              Hilliard B. Thomas, MD

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 11th day of November A. D., one thousand nine hundred and thirty five before I. H. Wilson Coroner, upon view of the body of A. C. SHEPPARD of Newberry SC then and there being dead by the oaths of H. D. Whitaker, J. H. Long, D. L. Taylor, Frazier L. Evans, L. D. Wicker, W. L. Frazier being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said A. C. SHEPPARD came to his death, upon their oaths do say that the said A. C. SHEPPARD came to his death by an unavoidable accident by carelessness on the part of said A. C. SHEPPARD on November1935. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid A. C. SHEPPARD came to his death in the manner and means aforesaid

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, I. H. Wilson Coroner, aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.                                                                 /s/   I. H. Wilson Coroner, (L.S.)

/s/   D. L. Taylor (L.S.)                             /s/   L. D. Wicker (L.S.)                          /s/   H. D. Whitaker, foreman (L.S.)

/s/   J. H. Long (L.S.)                                /s/   W.L. Frazier (L.S.)                            /s/   Frazier Lionel Evans (L.S.)

Inquisition held over the dead body of A. C. SHEPPARD colored of Newberry County SC on November 11, 1935 at Newberry Court House


Direct Examination by Coroner, I. H. WILSON:

JOE HERBERT colored being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Where do you live Joe?

A.    I live about 4 miles from here on the Davenport Place.

Q.    Which way from here?

A.    West from here.

Q.    In Newberry County?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Where were you at yesterday afternoon when this accident occurred?

A.    I was at Church until church turned out.

Q.    What time did you turn out?

A.    We usually turn out between 3 and 4 o’clock in the evening.

Q.    Where were you at when this car struck this little boy?

A.    I was about 200 or 300 yards on up the road. I did not see the car when it struck him. The noise is what took my attention.

Q.    Just tell the Jury what you saw and how it happened.

A.    I was going up the road in the same direction as the car and the boy was going. I heard the brakes and it took my attention. When I looked back I saw the dust flying and the car stopped and something to the right of the car. When I got back there I found the car parked and the boy on the side of the road. He was dead when we got there. One leg was broken.

Q.    The boy was dead when you got there?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Where was he in the road?

A.    He was laying on the shoulder when I saw him.

Q.    What caused you to look back?

A.    The lick.

Q.    Was the horn of the car blowing?

A.    I did not hear any. I did not pay any attention.

Q.    How far did the car go after it hit the boy until it stopped?

A.    Just about the distance of this room.

Q.    Tell the Jury what road this happened on and what part it happened on.

A.    It was on the Dead Fall Road. It was not a half mile from out church on the creek. It was not a half mile from our church, Welch Zion Church.

Q.    You mean that church about 4 or 5 miles from Newberry on the Dead Fall Road?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    It happened about how far on the other side of the church?

A.    Less than a half mile – a couple hundred yards.

Q.    The car and the boy were both going in the same direction?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    The boy was going towards Dead Fall?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    The car too?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did a car pass you before the car hit this boy?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    How fast was this car going?

A.    I did not notice. I would estimate somewhere between 35 and 40.

Q.    Not in excess of the speed limit?

A.    No sir. I would not think so. I do not know the speed limit.

Q.    Was the boy up on the pavement?

A.    I suppose he was. The lick came from the right hand fender.

Q.    The lady did all in her power to avoid the accident?

A.    I heard the brakes.

Q.    The car was on the pavement?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Was the boy on the pavement?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    The boy was in the center of the road?

A.    It looked like the right hand fender struck him. He was on the right shoulder.

Q.    The car that the lady was driving stopped, didn’t it?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Stopped immediately?

A.    Yes sir.

DAN WILLIAMS being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Dan, where do you live?

A.    I live about a mile from Dead Fall.

Q.    On this side or on the other side?

A.    Sort of to the south.

Q.    Back this way toward Newberry?

A.    It is to the south of Dead Fall.

Q.    In Newberry County?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    How far were you from this boy who got killed?

A.    I was right where he was.

Q.    Tell the Jury just what happened and how it happened.

A.    He was going up the road on the left hand side.

Q.    Who was that now?

A.    A. C. Sheppard. He was going up the road on the left hand side and one car was coming from Dead Fall and one was coming from Newberry. He crossed the road going to the right hand side. He saw the other car but I don’t think he saw this car going from toward Newberry.

Q.    He saw the car that was coming toward Newberry?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Which way was A. C. Sheppard going?

A.    West.

Q.    He was going to Dead Fall?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    This boy A. C. – which side of the road was he on?

A.    Left hand side.

Q.    And he crossed to the right hand side.

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Then he started back to the other side?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Just tell what he did.

A.    He was on the left hand side going toward Dead Fall. One car was coming from Dead Fall and as it passed he started to go to the right hand side of the road. This other car was coming from Newberry and he just crossed the road.

JURY:

Q.    He walked in front of this car you think?

A.    I don’t know.

Q.    He was crossing the road going to the right hand side when he was struck?

A.    Yes sir.

MR. WILSON:

Q.    After the lady struck this boy she stopped immediately, right then?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    About how far did the car go after it struck the boy until it stopped?

A.    About as far as across this room. (Meaning the Court Room)

Q.    Was the boy on the pavement when the car struck him?

A.    Yes sir. The car was on the pavement when she struck him.

Q.    She did not get off the pavement?

A.    After she struck him.

Q.    She was not off the pavement when she struck him?

A.    No sir.

Q.    The car was on the pavement?

A.    Yes sir.

JOHN BOYD being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Where do you live John?

A.    On Mr. W. B. Spearman’s Place.

Q.    Up above Dead Fall?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    In Newberry County?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Where were you when this accident occurred?

A.    I was going from church.

Q.    Did you see this car when it struck the boy?

A.    No sir. When I saw the boy he was dead.

Q.    The car was stopped?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What part of the road was the car in when it struck the boy?

A.    I don’t know. I was behind the other people.

Q.    How far were you behind this boy?

A.    A pretty good piece.

Q.    Well, was it 25 yards, 100 yards or how far? As far as from here to the street out there?

A.    I don’t know how far it was.

Q.    You could see the boy?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    You could see – was the car on the pavement?

A.    I think the car was on the pavement.

Q.    You saw the car before it hit the boy?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    It was on the pavement?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    It was on the pavement when it hit him?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    How fast was the car traveling?

A.    I could not tell. It was going a pretty good speed.

Q.    Something like 35 or 40 miles an hour?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    It was not going any faster than any other car?

A.    I could not tell you.

Q.    It was going at a moderate rate of speed?

A.    I don’t know the speed limits.

Q.    It was not going all that fast?

A.    No sir.

RAYMOND COUNTS being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Where do you live?

A.    In front of Mr. W. B. Spearman’s.

Q.    Where is that?

A.    On the other side of Dead Fall.

Q.    Where were you yesterday afternoon when this accident happened?

A.    Going from church.

Q.    How far were you from the car when it struck the boy?

A.    About 35 yards.

Q.    Were you in front or behind the boy?

A.    Behind.

Q,    Were you looking at the car?

A.    I saw the car when it passed me yesterday evening. I looked up and saw the boy on the ground.

Q.    The car was on the pavement?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did the car stop immediately after it struck the boy?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    The car was not going fast?

A.    It was making at least 35.

Q.    The boy was on the pavement and the car was on the pavement?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Is the road straight?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Is it straight both ways?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    A good long ways?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Anybody looking could see the car?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you see the boy cross the road?

A.    No sir. I did not see him.

Q.    He was on the right hand side of the road when the car struck him?

A.    He was on the left hand side of the road when it struck him.

Q.    What do you mean the left hand side of the road?

A.    I mean the left hand side of the road coming from toward Dead Fall.

Q.    Coming from toward Newberry he was on the right hand side of the road when he was struck?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    The boy and the car were both on the right hand side of the road?

A.    Yes sir.

MR. W. J. MARTIN being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Mr. Martin, you are the highway patrolman in Newberry County?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    On Sunday afternoon were you called out to this place or were you out there?

A.    I was at West End directing a funeral for Mr. McSwain. I imagine it was about 3:30 when we got out there. When we came over the hill I thought it was a car wreck. I got a glance at the boy. After the funeral passed I went back and Mr. McSwain suggested I had better go back. When I got back there I found this boy. I came back to town and got the deputy sheriff and the coroner.

Q.    What shape did you find everything in?

A.    The body was lying on the right hand side of the road. Somebody had put a handkerchief over his face.

Q.    What is the condition of the road there?

A.    It is a pretty straight road. A small incline.

Q.    Is it paved?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you make an investigation of the tracks on the pavement where the car struck the boy?

A.    There was a black line on the pavement where the wheels dragged.

Q.    In your opinion the boy and the car were both on the pavement?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Mr. Martin, you have had a lot of experience in examining wrecks on the highway. Judging from the tracks where the wheels slid would you judge this car was running at an over excessive rate of speed?

A.    I would judge a moderate rate of speed.

Q.    What is the speed limit on that highway?

A.    45 miles per hour.

Q.    This happened in Newberry County?

A.    Yes sir.

MR. J. B. CROUCH being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Mr. Crouch, you were in the car with your daughter yesterday afternoon?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Tell the jury what happened.

A.    All I know, the boy was on the left hand side of the road and started back to the right hand side of the road right in front of the car.

Q.    Which way was your car going?

A.    We were going toward Dead Fall.

Q.    Which way was the boy going?

A.    In the same direction.

Q.    Was your car on the right hand side of the road?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Do you know about how fast you were traveling?

A.    I would think not over 30 or 35. She saw the crowd in the road and slowed down. Every once in a while she would blow the horn.

Q.    After your car struck this boy you all stopped immediately?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    And rendered all possible assistance?

A.    Yes sir.

JURY:

Q.    The car that was coming from Dead Fall to Newberry and the car you were in going toward Dead Fall and - the boy saw the car coming from Dead Fall and did not see the car in which you were riding?

A.    I do not remember seeing any car coming from Dead Fall. It may have been one.

MR. WILSON:

Q.    Mr. Crouch, was this boy running or walking?

A.    He was running.

Q.    About how far in front of your car did he start to run across the road?

A.    It was done so quick it looked like he ran right into the car.

Q.    The boy was on the pavement?

A.    Yes sir.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that I have this day examined the dead body of A. C. Sheppard of Newberry County and find that he died of a fracture of the skull and broken neck. He also had a fracture of the right femur.

11/10/1935                                                                                                                                  Frank D. Mower

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at the Magistrate’s Office, Newberry SC in the County and State aforesaid, the 26th day of November A. D., one thousand nine hundred and thirty five before I. H. Wilson Coroner, upon view of the body of INFANT COLORED CHILD of _ then and there being dead by the oaths of H. D. Whitaker, J. H. Long, J. L. Dickert, A. C. Quattlebaum, L. W. Franklin, John Marson being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said INFANT COLORED CHILD came to its death, upon their oaths do say that the said INFANT COLORED CHILD was a stillborn baby at birth, death caused by mistreatment at the hands of Belle Spearman’s mother, Bell Spearman being the mother of the said dead infant. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid Allene Spearman who is the grandmother of the child be held for investigation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, I. H. Wilson Coroner, aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.                                                                 /s/   I. H. Wilson Coroner, (L.S.)

/s/   J. R. Dickert (L.S.)                             /s/   John Marson (L.S.)                         /s/   H. D. Whitaker, foreman (L.S.)

/s/   J. H. Long (L.S.)                                /s/   A. C. Quattlebaum (L.S.)                 /s/   L. W. Franklin (L.S.)

Inquisition held over the dead body of colored Male Infant at Newberry SC on November 26, 1935

Examination by Coroner, I. H. WILSON:

DR. F. B.MOWER being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Dr. Mower, you are a practicing physician in Newberry?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    You examined the body of this baby?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Tell the jury just what you found.

A.    The body was a colored male infant. I could not tell whether it was premature or not. It was fully developed. The examination showed that it had not breathed. It might have been a full 9-months baby, though I think it was 7 or 8 months.

Q.    Dr. Mower, is it possible that this baby could have been born alive?

A.    I don’t think so. Although it is possible if someone – the minute it was born did not let it breathe. I do not think that is probable under the circumstances.

Q,.   Did you say it was well developed?

A.    It could have been a 7 or 8 months baby. It could have been a full term baby. Colored babies are usually smaller than white babies.

PEARL BOWMAN colored being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q.    Where do you live Pearl?

A.    Helena.

Q.    You live in Helena?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    You live close to Belle Spearman?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Do you know anything about her and this baby?

A.    No sir. I just saw the baby.

Q.    When did you see it?

A.    Sunday.

Q.    When was it born?

A.    I could not say. I did not see it. When I saw it was where I found it.

Q.    Where did you find it?

A.    In the toilet.

Q.    What time Sunday did you find it?

A.    I do not know exactly. It must have been somewhere around 11 or 12 in the day when I found it.

Q.    How was it? Like it was when it came into the world?

A.    I don’t understand.

Q.    Did it have any clothes on or not? Was it wrapped up?

A.    A paper was over it.

Q.    It was in the toilet.

A.    Yes sir.

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q.    Pearl, why did you find the baby? How did you know about it?

A.    George Scott’s wife who lives in the house with them told Leile Belle to go and scrub up the floor of the toilet. I told Belle I wanted to go and I would scrub it up while I was out there. There was a lot of paper there on the floor of the toilet and I went back in the house and told her mother.

Q.    Told who?

A.    Allene Spearman. Bell Spearman’s mother.

Q.    What did she say?

A.    She did not say anything. She acted like she was going to faint.

Q.    Did you talk with Belle?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What did she say?

A.    She said she did not know anything about it and if I said it was here I was a lie. I did not say anything else to her after she talked like that to me. After she did not own up to it. I knew it was somebody’s. Her mother told her to take it off.

Q.    Did you see Belle this morning?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Where did you see her?

A.    She was coming up the hill from the post office.

Q.    Did you talk with her?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Didn’t you talk with her this morning?

Q.    Yes, when we went and got her and she owned up to it. Lillie Belle Spearman owned up it was her baby and that it was down in the pasture. She could not find it while we were down there. Then you carried me on back to work and told her to find it while you were gone. I reckon she found it.

Q.    Do you know anything else about the baby?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Did she tell you anything about her being pregnant?

A.    Yes sir. She told me a little bit about it.

Q.    Did she tell you how long she had been that way?

A.    A good little bit gone.

Q.    Did she tell you how many months she had been that way?

A.    She said it was 8 months – 7 or 8 months.

Q.    Do you know whether her mother fussed at her or not?

A.    Not except when they would get to arguing.

Q.    When was the last time she hit her.

A.    I do not know. I know she hit her a while back when I went over there to borrow some grease. I asked Belle’s mother for some grease and she said they did not have any and Belle was back in the kitchen and said, “Mama, you know we have some grease” and they got to arguing and she struck Belle with a stick or something.

MR. WILSON:

Q.    Belle’s mother struck her with what?

A.    With a broom handle.

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q.    Did you ever hear Allene Spearman tell Belle if she had a baby she would have to get out?

A,.   Yes sir. Saturday night, coming from town. She told her if she was like that she had to hit the ball.

Q.    That she had to hit the ball?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What did Belle tell her?

A.    That it was not the first time she had had one.

Q.    Did you know that she was going to have a baby?

A.    No more than what she had told me and from the way she acted she was like that.

JANIE SPEARMAN being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR.WILSON:

Q.    Janie, where do you live?

A.    Helena

Q.    In Newberry County?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Do you know Belle Spearman who had the baby?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Do you know anything about the baby?

A.    No sir.

Q.    When did you see the baby?

A.    Today.

Q.    Where do you live at?

A.    Helena.

Q.    You live with Belle?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Where were you on Saturday night?

A.    I was at town.

Q.    What time did you get home?

A.    About 10 o’clock.

Q.    Where was Belle when you got there?

A.    In the bed.

Q.    She was in the bed?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What happened Sunday morning?

A.    I went to work. I do not know.

Q.    Did she tell you anything about the baby?

A.    No sir.

Q.    She did not tell you anything about hiding it?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Did you see her carry anything out of the house?

A.    No sir. She asked me to go with her and I got to the back door and stopped.

Q.    When was that?

A.    Sunday afternoon.

Q.    Did you know that she was going to have a baby?

A.    No sir. I did not know anything about it.

JURY:

Q.    What kin are you to her?

A.    Sister.

MR. QUATTLEBAUM being duly sworn testified as follows:

Mr. WILSON:

Q.    Mr. Quattlebaum, you are a deputy sheriff?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    In Newberry County?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you this morning receive a phone call or information about this dead baby?

A.    I received a phone call last night. I went up there and received certain information and went back this morning to Belle Spearman’s house. Janie came to the door and I asked her who lived there. I went on down to Pearl Bowman’s and she had already gone to Oakland Mill to work. I went over to Oakland and got her and we went on back to this house where Belle Spearman lives and I was told there that she was down at some Smith’s house. I went and got her and came on back to Helena. I asked her what she had done with the baby and she said she had not had any baby. That whoever had put that out on her didn’t know what they were talking about. I told her to tell the truth about the thing. Then she told me that she had had the baby and that it was down in the pasture. We stopped at the house and went back down behind the house with a shovel. We dug around there where she said it was but could not find it. I carried this other girl back to Oakland and told Belle to find it while I was gone. When I got back she was coming to the house with the baby on her shoulder. I had her to leave it there and came on to town and got you.

Q.    Did she ever acknowledge to you that it was her baby?

A.    Yes. That she had had it in the toilet on Saturday night.

Q.    Did she say how long she had been going with it?

A.    She said 8 months. I asked her did it live any after it was born and she said she did not know. She did not see it until after it was dead.

BELLE SPEARMAN made the following statement:

Q.    Go ahead and tell whatever you want about it. You don’t have to make a statement unless you want to.

A.    I had it Saturday night. I did not know what to do. I was scared.

MR.QUATTLEBAUM:

Q.    Where did you have the baby?

A.    In the toilet.

Q.    Why did you not stay in the house?

A.    I thought mama might put me out. I went out there. She did not know. She kept asking me. I told her “No”.

Q.    Did she say that she was going to put you out?

A.    She said that I did not have to do that and if I did what she was going to do to me. She told me she was going to whip me.

Q.    Is that the reason you did not stay in the house?

A.    I was scared to stay in the house.

Q.    How long had you been going with it?

A.    8 months.

Q.    Did your mother know that you were going to have a baby?

A.    She told me that she had heard it.

Q.    You were scared to stay in the house?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    You were afraid to let her know anything about it?

A.    Yes sir.

MR. WILSON:

Q.    When the baby was born did it cry?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Belle, what did you do with the baby after you had it?

A.    I did not do anything. Went on back in the house. Took it off Sunday and buried it.

Q.    What time did you have it on Saturday night?

A.    About 9:30.

Q.    You went out Sunday and buried it?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did anyone see you?

A.    I went by myself.

JURY:

Q.    Did your sister know where you were going?

A.    No sir, I did not tell her.

MR. WILSON:

That is all of the testimony. You all have heard it and it is your duty to render a verdict according to the testimony. If you think that this girl killed the baby or anybody else just say so. If you find that any other party is the cause of her not taking care of this baby you can bring in any party you see fit.
 

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